Italy itinerary help

Old Jan 24th, 2018, 10:35 AM
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Italy itinerary help

Hi everyone,

I need some help planning itinerary to Italy for 13-14 nights. We are a couple planning to travel in May to Italy for the first time.
My initial plan was this:
land in Rome and spend 3 days
Tuscan country side, Siena, Montacino area - 3 days
Florence - 3 days
Amalfi coast 3 days
Adding 1-2 days buffer for travel between cities etc.

I've been reading the forum and everyone seem to suggest Venice as a must visit.
Do you think it is possible to cover Venice by taking 1 day from Tuscan country side,1 day from Amalfi and spend 2 days in Venice?
Is it worth going to Amalfi for 2 days only? It is my dream to visit Amalfi and I would like to definitely visit the AC but can't seem to make a decision between Venice and Amalfi.
If I only have 2 days, Does Cinque Terre sound like a better option than Amalfi coast considering time to travel?

One last question, I have been looking at flights in and out of Rome as the tickets are less expensive. If we do visit Venice or decide to go to Amalfi, is it wise to book return flight from that Venice or Naples?

Thanks in advance!
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Old Jan 24th, 2018, 11:01 AM
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Every time you say 3 days, you are looking at 4 nights. First go back and add up your nights again...
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Old Jan 24th, 2018, 11:14 AM
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You say "It is my dream to visit Amalfi..." not it's your dream to visit Venice. And wonder if a day in Venice is enough. I'd think that speaks for itself.

My question would be, aside from a "dream", what is it you want to do in each location. If you don't know, go to the places this trip that you long to see, rather than to places that are simply famous names. For instance, if art museums aren't important to you, skip Florence. From the little you've said it seems like Tuscany, Rome, & the Amalfi Coast are the priorities. Forget the Cique Terre, forget Venice if it isn't high on your own list (it seems not to be) and divide your time among those 3 locations and do them well.
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Old Jan 24th, 2018, 11:27 AM
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It sounded like you wanted to visit Venice just because you read here that you should. As MME says, your "dream" is to visit the AC, so do that! May will be a lovely time. Save Venice for a time when you are inspired to go there.

How about.....fly into Rome, spend a week there and if you wish, you can go up to the Tuscan countryside, or visit hill towns near Rome. You won't run out of things to see in Roma, if you love history, art, architecture, etc. After Roma, go down to the AC and relax, in a very different setting than Rome. Explore the islands, relax and enjoy the scenery. Fly home from Naples.

In any case, do a little more research, and decide what's most important to you and your partner. You can trim or add with more confidence.
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Old Jan 24th, 2018, 12:37 PM
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Ah, thanks! Just started planning, will add the nights once we get the airline tickets
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Old Jan 24th, 2018, 02:12 PM
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You driving or taking trains? Obviously driving in Tuscany but other places are best by train IMO - cities do not even allow cars in city centers. Book trains really early for sweet discounted fares - Acquista il biglietto con le nostre offerte - Trenitalia and www.italotreno.com - two competing rail companies using same tracks and stations and similar trains. Book your own tickets online but not discounted tickets non-changeable non-refundable but must cheaper than full walk-up fares and tickets come with mandatory seat reservations - just need to show up for train. www.seat61.com has great tips on booking own tickets online - general info BETS-European Rail Experts and www.ricksteves.com.

CT makes more sense to me than Amalfi for two days as it is near your other sights and Amalfi has so many neat day trips. Venice is stupendous - go for it even for few days IMO - fly into Venice and out of Rome or vice versa.
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Old Jan 24th, 2018, 03:23 PM
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I think we're left to make assumptions about your priorities because you haven't figured them out either. If you're talking about a trip in May 2018, you need to get hopping on research to decide exactly what you want to see and do. Nobody can tell you how many days in a place is "enough" without knowing your sightseeing plans there.

FYI, if you intend to visit museums in the big cities, you need to know what days and hours they're open. For example, if your time in Florence includes Sunday/Monday, you may need more than three days to see all that you want to see because many museums aren't open every Sunday and Monday.

For what it's worth, I would leave the Amalfi Coast for another trip. It's a detour from your focus on the northern half of Italy. Also, there's a lot to see and getting around is time-consuming.
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Old Jan 24th, 2018, 04:28 PM
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I suggest discarding what "everyone" says and just consulting your own wanderlust. A place is only a must-see if it's a must-see to you. There are people who love Venice. There are people who hate it. There are people who love the Amalfi Coast. There are people who hate it. Don't worry about others' opinions. You can't see everywhere, so pick the places that call most strongly to you, and just figure you'll see those other places on your next visit.
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Old Jan 24th, 2018, 07:10 PM
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Don't book tickets until you have a more decided itinerary. You don't want to be stuck with RT Rome, then decide to go to Venice and have to spend more time and money backtracking to Rome, when you could have done multi-city and saved travel time and cost of train. You might even fly into or out of Naples if you go to the AC. You want multi-destination or multi-city, not two one-way.

If you do land in Rome, and have to do Rome RT, go straight on to your next destination and end in Rome, since you would have to be back there for your return. You nearly always need to spend your last night in the departure city. If you are not already there, you would spend half your last day traveling and checking into another hotel for one night, not a fun last day. On arrival, you will probably be tired anyway. You can use your tired time to travel, but still rest on the train.

You mentioned adding a day or two to account for travel. One is not nearly enough and it does not appear that you actually have two. You say 13 or 14 nights. Yes, that gives you 12 or 13 days on the ground, but not 12 or 13 days of sightseeing because travel from place to place will eat up a good bit. Getting from Florence to the Amalfi Coast eats up 3/4 of a day. You have to account for getting from hotel to train station, travel time, then getting to the next hotel. It adds up.

If you skip Venice this trip, you would not be going that far north, so could easily include the Amalfi Coast, which is breathtaking.

possibility. Cut, add, change per your interests.
Day 1, arrive Rome, train straight to Florence.
Days 2 & 3, Florence, 3 nights.
Days 4, 5, 6, rent car, tour Tuscany, stay in smaller town or country side, 3 nights
Day 7, drop car and take train to Amalfi Coast, or drive to Sorrento just north of the AC and drop car, or drop somewhere along the way. Others can make better RECs on that. I would probably drop it in Orvieto, but this is just throwing out ideas. Anyway, getting to the AC from Florence will eat up much of the day.
Days 8, 9 & 10, Amalfi Coast, 4 nights.
Day 11, travel to Rome, takes at least a half day, Rome.
Day 12, 13, 14, Rome, 4 nights
Day 15, home

With 14 nights, you end up with about 11 days of sightseeing.

May will be beautiful and anywhere you go will be wonderful. No bad choices!
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Old Jan 25th, 2018, 02:50 AM
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You seem to have only a vague idea of what you want to do, shaped by vague impressions of other people. Get a firm handle on what it is YOU want to do. Three days here and there is not a plan and not realistic if you want to appreciate anything and not just fly by.

Figure out the nights before you get the airline tickets.
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Old Jan 25th, 2018, 08:30 AM
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I like sassadrass's itinerary!
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Old Jan 25th, 2018, 11:14 AM
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Thank you all for the replies and making my planning easier.
I have not actually planned or researched yet. I just started planning but we love art, history, and wine. My initial plan was to cover Florence, Rome, Tuscany and AC and come back to visit Northern Italy - Venice, Milan, Piedmont. I might stick to that. I'd rather spend a little more time in each city than add more.
Thanks for everyone for tips and suggestions. Sassafrass, I love the itinerary you presented! Thanks a ton! PalenQ, thank you for the train tips. Yes, plan to drive around in Tuscany and trains everywhere else. WIll check out the links you had provided.

Will check back in after I have the right dates and a more detailed travel plan.
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Old Jan 26th, 2018, 10:40 AM
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A nice drive would be from say Siena to Orvieto - car rentals at each train station - take bus Florence to Siena and then regional trains Orvieto to Rome. Hit lovely Montepluciano en route.
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Old Jan 26th, 2018, 02:17 PM
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Thank you PalenQ! I was looking at car rental and drive today and wondering about the same.
Which do you think is easier for car rental - Orvieto or Chiusi, in terms of getting out of the place and accessibility of rental companies?
I will check out Montepulciano. I planned to visit Montalcino because of Brunello wines but I like Montepulciano wines too!
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Old Jan 28th, 2018, 11:11 AM
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We are planning a third trip to Italy and will do as we have done on 2 previous trips: fly into one city, visit it, and fly home from a different city. Prices are equivalent and it saves back tracking. Worth considering before purchasing your tix.
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Old Jan 28th, 2018, 12:55 PM
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Chiusi or Orvieto for ease of carpick up? Chiusi has several right near train station - do not remember much about Orvieto bus assume the same. In any case if Orvieto pick car up at station as driving around the congested hill town could be hard. Chiusi is rather small and on edge of countryside - Montepulciano a short drive up hill.

But Orvieto is quite a sight in itself.
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Old Mar 13th, 2018, 02:46 PM
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So we booked our tickets arriving in Rome and departing from Naples. Here's how my itinerary is looking so far. I don't have detailed plan of what I am going to do in the cities yet. Any input is appreciated. Had to compress it as this is all the vacation we could take at this time.

5/24 - Arrive in Rome 5/24 evening
5/25, 5/26, 5/27 in Rome. 5/27 is a Sunday. I have not checked if Vatican or other tourist spots in Rome are closed.
5/28 morning - earliest (6 or 7am) Train to Chiusi or Orvieto depending on car rental availability and convenience.
5/28 - pick up car, drive around southern Tuscany. Montalcino, Val d'orcia area.
Check in to an Agriturismo for 5/28 and 5/29. Not decided where to base yet.
5/29 - Siena and San Gim if time permits.
5/30 - Check out. Drive to Florence early, return car at airport, drop luggage at hotel. Spend afternoon exploring the city and visit Piazza del Duomo .
5/31, 6/1 - Florence. No detailed itinerary for the city yet.
6/2 - Earliest train to Naples. Arrive ~ 10.30am. Store luggage at locker and visit Pompei. Arrive in Positano in the evening (either by taking circumvesuviana to Sorrento and taxi or direct private transfer from Naples station).
6/3, 6/4 - Positano. May be Capri one day or just relax in Positano.
6/5 - Naples in the morning to catch afternoon flight.

Questions:

Can someone suggest a good agritursimo, may be near Siena or possibly Buonconvento? My idea is to tour southern Tuscany on 5/28 and stay in Agriturismo close to Siena as we plan to spend next day in Siena and San Gim and save some driving time. I am looking at Buonconvento area. Are the Agritusimos near Montalcino (vineyards etc) more scenic that the ones near Siena?

Is it a good idea to store luggage in Naples train station (ofcourse take passport, valuables with us)? Is there luggage storage at Pompei train station? That might be better as we don't have to take the train back to Naples just to pick up luggage?
I am wondering if we should hire a private car to take us to Positano and stop at Pompei on the way. Again, not sure if it is wise to leave luggage in car to explore Pompei... Has anyone done this?
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Old Mar 14th, 2018, 04:38 AM
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Pompeii luggage storage
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Old Mar 14th, 2018, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by hummingbird9 View Post
Is it a good idea to store luggage in Naples train station (of course take passport, valuables with us)? Is there luggage storage at Pompei train station? That might be better as we don't have to take the train back to Naples just to pick up luggage?
This sound stressful to me. I think it would be much simpler to head straight to Positano and relax there on 6/2. Take a day trip to Pompeii from Positano.
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Old Mar 16th, 2018, 06:56 PM
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on a recent trip to Tuscany we based in Pienza, in an agriturismo just outside the town and it was an excellent wonderful place to stay and the town and entire area was lovely to explore. So beautiful! Fonte Bertusi was the agriturismo, so scenic with such an outstanding breakfast and lovely family . The lodgings were cute little apartments on the lovely property - pool, views, gardens, etc. Close to Montalcino, etc. Pienza has lots of restaurants and there was a nice one next door too. Wished we had allowed more days for biking and walking in the area as well.
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